LOKA Toronto

For Nash’s birthday a while back, we went to LOKA. His schedule lately has been hectic to plan anything in advance but we happened to get a day-of reservation for 8pm. I couldn’t resist the Ginger Old Fashioned that was on the chalkboard outside.

LOKA specializes in Canadian cuisine and they have both a Vegetarian and General “Eat Everything” option. We ordered both and the charcuterie board. They started us with a little amuse bouche that wasn’t listed but I could’ve eaten an entire bowl of.

The charcuterie is all made in-house. My favourite was the fatty duck, but we devoured the entire thing so fast.

Brussel sprouts served with a chive emulsion and pistachios is how I want to eat healthy vegetables forever.

I’ve also never had fiddleheads, but these tempura pickled ramps and fiddleheads was accompanied by a beautiful mayo.

These baby beats were also full of flavour and topped with a bit of delicious blue cheese.

On top of sourdough we had white bass rillettes with creamed cabbage.

This was a handrolled pappardelle with charred radicchio and kale cream.

One of our most memorable dishes was this pan seared mushrooms, truffled potatoes and deer lichen combo.

This beautiful dish was cured venison, wild mushroom ragout and pumpkin purée.

There was a salad of lettuce, heirloon tomatoes topped with green garlic dressing and burnt bread that almost imitated bacon bits!

We had this palette-cleansing thing made of beats that could’ve been like a dessert on its own.

The actual dessert was a caramel chocolate mousse with almond crunch and berry preserve. There was also a crunchy marshmallow.

I told them it was Nash’s birthday and he received a sparkler in his:

The restaurant found out it’s his birthday 💕#tianash @chef_rouge

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I loved this meal a lot! It might be one of my favourites this year and I can’t wait to come back occasionally to taste the seasonal selections.

Loka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Sushi Tasting @ Skippa

Two of my friends and I recently tried out Skippa, a relatively new Japanese restaurant on Harbord Street. Skippa’s specialty is a shorter omakase ($47) where you can taste all 9 pieces of specialty sushi.

It’s not enough food to make you full on its own, so we also ordered some other things from the menu. I can never resist oysters, and these ones from PEI were presented beautifully on a bed of marbles.

I also saw this Pikachu looking character on sake on their Instagram, so I couldn’t resist. 

Their black maitake mushroom salad with radish and miso was delicious.

We also got the black garlic mackerel.

All the sushi was presented beautifully and simply. With each one, there were instructions to dip or not dip in soy sauce.  

Botan Chi: Shrimp from B.C.

Madai: seabream

Hirame: fluke

Kinmedai: Golden eye seabream

Kanpachi: Japanese amberjack

Maguro: big eye tuna

Tako: Octopus

Mcbachi handroll: big eye tuna, chili koji

Tomago: Sweet egg roll

I thought the fish in the sushi was very fresh. However, I felt a few of the sushi had too much wasabi that it overpowered the flavour of the fish. Otherwise, it’s beautifully simple.

I Love This Sardine

After a good but pricey dinner somewhere recently, my friends and I felt like we could still eat so we wandered around Dundas West looking for a Snack. We landed in the cozy 86’d, where Moto Snack Bar used to be. The menu rotates constantly, but the night we were there had a sardine.

Fried to perfection, the fish had all its bones removed. It was served in a green pesto and the fish had just the right amount of salt. It took more than 10 minutes to come out and we devoured it in seconds and promptly ordered a second with no hesitation.

They also do drinks on the fly inspired by things you like, and I mentioned I liked Old Fashioneds.

We also had fried brussel sprouts, which were also very good but no match for the sardines.

I have followed them on Instagram, just to be aware of the sardine schedule.

I Went Rock Climbing and I Liked It

We climbed some rocks @climbbasecamp

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On Friday, I took the Introductory Climbing Lesson at Basecamp. The package came with 2 weeks of unlimited climbing and I already went back on Thanksgiving Monday.

I don’t do a lot of exercises or physical activity, but I surprisingly enjoyed it. It was challenging, and I definitely felt a bit of pain the next day. However, I’m already excited to go back!

It’s fun, and goals seem measurable. I felt like I lost a lot of anxious energy in the process and felt certain rushes that were a bit addictive. I was frightened to jump off an auto-belay (still am a bit) but the rush of falling on it is alluring.

I’m going to keep going when I can within the two weeks, but I can totally see myself continuing and buying my own gear. Maybe eventually I can lead climb and do real mountains!

James Cheese Back Ribs

I discovered the existence of James Cheese Back Ribs from a cheese-filled video from BlogTo on Facebook. I had been thinking about it ever since, so I finally hit it up with my cousin. Of course, we couldn’t go to the place without ordering the signature platter with corn, omelet, sweet potato, veggies with ribs and cheese on a hot platter. There was the option of mild, spicy and super spicy and we chose the middle.

Of course, we had to film our own cheese pulling video (after some instruction from a staff member):

The ribs had a heat, but it went really well with the creamy, pan toasted cheese. It might sound weird stretching mozzarella across ribs, but now I feel like I can’t eat ribs any other way. I didn’t care much for the other sides in the platter, but we figured out we could dip it all in the rib sauce and leftover cheese, so it was all eaten.

There were 3 of us, so we thought a few small appetizers would please our stomachs. The Signature Fried Corn Squid had a flavourful chili mayo and I enjoyed the sweetness in the corn batter.

We also couldn’t resist something called Mini Korean McRibs, which was kind of like an imitation of its namesake on a fluffy steamed bun.

The whole meal was delicious and it’s worth the visit for the cheese ribs alone.

Supporting Local: Through Being Cool

I love my area of Bloor & Lansdowne, especially all the cute business that have been popping up. Every week, I take a walk and try to support some of them so I can keep the independent vibes alive.

Starting with this post, I’m going to mark all my nearby businesses with the tag “Supporting Local”, to show off the vibrant community around me.

For this post, I want to show some appreciation for local vegan bakery Through Being Cool. Though I have yet to try their baked goods, I’m totally in love with their pickled beans, asparagus, and chutney. I picked some up for a house party and they were a hit. They are not shy on spices and flavours.

Next time I will try their baked goods. They even have some for your canine friends too.

Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bandit Brewery

I went to Bandit Brewery recently for a flight of beers and some snacks. The place has a raccoon theme so all their glasses have faces and you can even buy fun posters of the beer labels in their Bottle Shop.

I had a flight of four beers: I had the Citra, Hoppelganger, Mr. Pink and Dundas West IPA. They serve it in the order that they recommend you drink them. My favourite was Mr. Pink, a flavourful hibiscus and ginger pale ale.

It was around lunch time, so I had a few snacks: Fresh Cut Russets and Beer Battered cheese curds.

The cheese curds with homemade ranch dressing were to die for and the perfect beer snack. The fries were covered in parmesan and a served with a lovely garlic mayo.

I loved the concept of this brewery and they even have funny identifications of their patrons!

Bandit Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ajuker Chicken

A lot of Korean restaurants look the same near Christie but Ajuker Chicken, specializes in chicken dishes, especially fried. However, I had a lot of fried food for lunch so I wanted to try their healing ginseng chicken soup. The broth was relatively thin, but flavourful and comforting. The bird was stuff with rice, ginseng, dates and garlic.

My friend had a spicy chicken and rice dish with vegetables. It was generously seasoned and did not hold on the spice.

Like many traditional meals, we were served side dishes including bean sprouts, sea weed salad, kimchi and salted beans. We quite liked our food and next time will try the fried chicken!

Ajuker Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Poke Wrap

I love Poke, so I’m definitely down to try new places. Poke Wrap is more known for their Sushi Burritos, but I find the concept of those a little weird. Isn’t it just a sushi roll that is uncut?

The good thing is here you can have all the ingredients in a burrito or a bowl. I had the Alaskan bowl which had: White Tuna, Soy Sesame, Creamy Wasabi, Onions, Sesame Seeds, Spring Onions, Corn, Masago, Avocado, White Cabbage, Carrots, Nori. It came together nicely and tasted fresh.

Poke Wrap Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chefs Plate: Turkey Taco Salad


We’ve been moving and unpacking all this week so we didn’t really have too much time planning meals and getting groceries. Thankfully, Chefs Plate helped out and the box came to our door step the day we moved in.

Yesterday I cooked a Turkey Taco Salad. All the ingredients were fresh and it was full of flavour. I loved the cilantro sour cream, as well as the spices in the turkey. Plus, it felt like I was eating healthy, in comparison to the takeout I was eating all last week.

If you want to try Chefs Plate use this code for 3 free plates: #3platesfromtianafeng